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Home Schooling a Child Outside of the UK

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 22 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
Home Schooling A Child Outside Of The Uk

The relative freedom and flexibility of home schooling regulation in the UK means that parents who move or travel abroad with their children are sometimes surprised to discover stricter laws regulating home schooling in other countries. Parents who teach their children via home schooling have to follow the rules of the land they are living in, so English children must still follow the education laws of, say, France if living in France. Every country in the world takes a different view and has different rules (or none at all) regarding home schooling.

While home education is also permitted in a huge number of other countries, this is not true of every country so parents should check before deciding to move abroad, if this is a key issue. A good place to find out a specific country's laws and regulations regarding home schooling is that country's consulate in the UK. If unavailable, it is best to try to confirm the policy with the country directly. This article looks at the issues involved with home schooling abroad, and briefly describes the local policies in some popular destinations for UK families.

Expatriates Educating Their Children Abroad

The decisions that expatriates, people who go to live abroad, make about their children's schooling usually depend on several factors. If the child was already home schooled, and it is permitted in the new home country, most parents will continue to teach their child within the home.

If a child was previously learning in a mainstream school in the UK, however, and parents either have to, or decide to, move abroad, this is where other options are usually considered. These may include home schooling, along side other alternative options such as choosing to either enrol your child into a UK boarding school, registering a child in a local school in the new home country where lessons are taught in the local language, or finding an international school (usually privately run and thus requiring the payment of school fees) where lessons are generally taught in English.

Making Decisions About Educating Children Abroad

Where parents have fewer options, because of financial constraints or limited availability of types of schooling, for example, the choice is usually between a local school where lessons are taught in the local language, which obviously will not, in some countries, be English, or home schooling. Often this choice depends on the time a family is moving away from its home culture.

A short move might mean parents prefer the home teaching option since it allows children to stay up to date with the curriculum taught by their school in the UK; home schooling in this situation can involve bridging the gap between leaving and returning to UK life. However, sometimes families who move abroad for longer prefer to choose to educate their child in a local school since this can aid the process of settling into a new country, including boosting language ability if the country's mother tongue is not English.

Basic Information About Home Educating Children Abroad in Popular Destinations

In Australia, home education is legal and quite popular. In Canada, home education is also legal and, following on from the American trend towards home schooling, more and more popular, although still very much an option for a minority of Canadian families. In France, home teaching is also permitted, but the home teaching process is monitored and involves strict restrictions.

For Cypriots living in Cyprus, home education is illegal - children have to attend school between the ages of 6 and 15 but, for some ex-patriots, home education is both allowed and a popular option. In Germany, home schooling is not permitted. Other countries in which home education is legal include Israel, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden, as well as many other countries - check the details of the particular country you are interested in, even if listed here as regulations can rapidly change. Home education is also legal in the USA, where it is perhaps most popular, but regulations and monitoring systems differ according the state of residence.

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Suniti - 25-Sep-20 @ 5:05 PM
My kids were in London schooling, 15 and 6 but we went to Nigeria for isolation. Can we start homeschooling in isolation outside the UK? Thank u.
Owo - 16-Sep-20 @ 12:25 AM
I have 2 bilingual sons aged 10 and 12, we live in Slovakia but I d like to homeschool my kids from september following a curriculum in english. Our country permits that only if the kids are registered with a school abroad. How do I register my kids in school in the UK and apply for homeschooling/distance learning,should I just contact schools directly?
Traveler - 14-Aug-20 @ 10:42 PM
Hello I have a 14 year old that will start school 2020/2021 in year 10. In March we are moving to Portugal and I would like him to carry on with year 10 in homeschooling. In Portugal will be hard for him to put him in a portuguese high school in the 3rd term.Any advice on how this could be done? Will he have a certificate as a proof of year 10? many thanks Telma Morais
telmamorais - 25-Jul-20 @ 4:25 PM
Hi, if we are living in other country, should we register our children in the U.K. for a home education? If so, where can we register? I understand that this is through council, but since we are outside UK, then how is the registration procedure (if any)?
Nytth - 13-Jun-20 @ 3:20 PM
Hello ....i have 2 dauthers age 3 and 7 and since Christmas we came to România (who do not have homescholing)......But i hant to homeschool as U.K. does.....girls been in England School ; Nursery before .....is posibile to homeschool in România by English homeschool?
Corina - 2-Jun-20 @ 2:17 PM
Hi. We have 3 kids who are in 3 different schools. on of them is in a special school. As a family have decided to have a gap year and go to another country get experience and home country education. We were wondering, where do we get the permission to have gap year for our kids? school or council? how should we approach them? what do we tell them? would they loose their place in their schools? Are there any rules or restrictions timing? One year, Two years of gap? Thank you for help.
nickdyson79 - 26-May-20 @ 8:17 PM
Hi.I have two daughters aged 9 and 12 who have been in the Spanish education system all their lives but are not getting on well.I'm already an English teacher.Can I home educate them if we live in Spain.We all have British passports so are technically British.Would love some proper advise on this grey area.Thank you
Aloma - 24-May-20 @ 12:17 AM
Hello, We live in UK since 2010 and we are Bulgarians. We do have a settle status for more than an year now. Our kids are 5th and 3th year in school. Due to the situation with the Covid19 and my elderly parents, I may need to go home for a year. Can I home school them as of from September? Many thanks Nora
Kalan - 16-May-20 @ 6:17 PM
Hi all. I'm a spanish citizen and I currently have my 3 kids in a British school in Spain. We are already doing homeschooling due to the quarantine caused by the virus. I'm reading a lot about independent homeschooling but I'm still lost. We'd like them to keep on with the UK National Curriculum (maybe this is just not too "homeschooling style" after all) My unsolved doubts are these: do children get a certification of having completed their year ie. Y9, Y7 or Y6, in my case?. How do I know they are learning what they should? are there exams to check this level? how do I apply for the GCSE exams? do I need actually GCSE? they might go to a university in the UK, so I want to keep that door open. Thanks for any of you who can enlighten me in this incredible situation we are living now. Best regards Enrique
corsario - 24-Mar-20 @ 3:05 PM
Thank you 4 helping at first I was confused.
Dr browns - 13-Nov-18 @ 12:37 PM
Hun - Your Question:
Can I home educate my daughter in the US for 4 months?

Our Response:
We've answered your question below???
AHomeEducation - 7-Aug-17 @ 12:23 PM
Can I home educate my daughter in the US for 4 months?
Hun - 3-Aug-17 @ 3:03 PM
Hun - Your Question:
Hi, I want to home educate my daughter in the US for four months and then I will return to UK. Can I do that? I might send get her registered back in school once I come back.

Our Response:
Speak to the school's headteacher, they will normally make allowances for this.
AHomeEducation - 28-Jul-17 @ 12:52 PM
Hi, I want to home educate my daughter in the US for four months and then I will return to UK. Can I do that? I might send get her registered back in school once I come back.
Hun - 26-Jul-17 @ 12:07 PM
@jess. You can do so, but the government would not provide work for your daughter. You can find lots of resources online and on various home schooling websites. Note also, that you are not guaranteed a place at the school of your choice on your return.
AHomeEducation - 27-Jul-15 @ 10:51 AM
I would like to home school my child for 3 months in Asia, is this allowed?Would English government provide us with work for her?
jess - 23-Jul-15 @ 1:33 PM
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